Hyderabad: Apart from cement and steel, the other most important component in construction is sand, especially river sand. These three are basic needs for the construction industry. In addition to civil construction, sand is extensively used in different projects, including land reclamations, artificial islands and others. In Hyderabad, Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation is constructing one lakh double bedroom houses apart from several infra projects under Strategic Road Development Programme and others. In addition to this, the private sector is coming up with huge skyscrapers, commercial malls and residential apartments.
While the demand for quality river sand keeps escalating every year, the supply is dwindling. Also, concerns are expressed regularly on the overuse of river sand impacting the environment and resulting in ecological and social consequences. As a result, earth scientists raise alarm and environmentalists protest against the mining of rivers and streams worldwide and India is no exception.
What is M- Sand
Earth scientists and organisations are now promoting the use of Manufactured Sand, popularly known as M-Sand. It is produced by crushing of rocks and quarry stones to desired sizes. To derive the required sizes, the hard rock deposits are crushed and the material is segregated into different fractions to suit different construction sites. The chemical characteristics and strength of M-Sand are similar to river sand. M-Sand has a silt content of around 0.2 per cent and water absorption of 1.6 per cent, as compared to 0.45 per cent and 1.15 per cent respectively in river sand, said BRV Susheel Kumar, Director of Mines and Geology, Telangana.
Making a presentation at the National Seminar on “M-Sand: Future Perspective and Its Sustainability,” held here in Hyderabad, Kumar said M-Sand concrete has a marginally higher bond strength. Mortar made of M-Sand shows higher compressive strength and modulus for masonry, over those of river sand. “It is cost effective as well. While M-Sand is sold for Rs 700 to 900 per tonne, river sand costs Rs 1200 to 1400 per tonne,” Kumar pointed out. Considering all these factors, organisations like GMR and L&T Metro Hyderabad Metro Rail Limited have been extensively using M-Sand for their projects in the city, he added. There are nearly 84 M-Sand manufacturing units in Hyderabad and neighbouring Ranga Reddy, Medchal, Yadadri, Bhongir and Sanga Reddy districts. These units are producing nearly 70 lakh tonnes per annum.
Three sub stock yards on city fringes to meet city demand
Telangana State Mineral Development Corporation Limited is focusing on expansion of its operations and to meet increasing sand demand, especially for city requirements. TSMDC VC and MD G Malsur shares expansion plans with Telangana Today.
Q: How are you going to meet increasing demand for sand in city?
A: Three sub stock yards are coming up near Hayathnagar, Bowrampet and close to Outer Ring Road. Already, land has been allocated by the revenue department and clearances are being obtained from other departments. These sub stock yards will help in meeting the demand even during monsoon periods.
Q: There are complaints of insufficient stocks?
A: That is incorrect. Right now 50,000 cubic metre of stock is available in all the stock yards. A slight gap in supply is bound to be during rainy season as roads do not support the supplies. There is sufficient quantity of sand available.
Q: What’s the daily demand for sand across the State?
A: Every day orders are placed for about 30,000 cubic metres across the State. Of these, 20,000 CBM orders come from Hyderabad and surrounding areas.
Q: What is TSMDC’s revenue?
A: Last financial year, TSMDC had generated nearly Rs 685 crore. This fiscal, we have already generated Rs 388 crore till date and will be crossing Rs 700 crore.
Q: Apart from M-Sand, what are other plans?
A: TSMDC is now also an exploring agency and accordingly focus is on exploring mines within Telangana and outside. An exclusive unit is being set up within TSMDC to explore granite and other mines at eight places in Telangana. This apart, two explorations are being taken up at Orissa and Chhattisgarh and will be bidding for more places on commercial lines in other States.